17 May 2014

never take a pug to a carnival

"But seriously, imagine this: A pug on a Ferris wheel is an awesome mental picture."

This is pretty much the level of conversation I'm up for an a Friday night—dreaming about adorable pug pictures that would instantly go viral.

With some coaxing, I might also be up for talking about how my day went or what I'm looking forward to over the weekend, but let's face it, by Friday night, I just want to wear my pajama pants and lay on the couch.

On this particular Friday night, I was doing just that, only replace the pajama pants with workout clothes. By some burst of energy miracle, I had made it to the gym after work, where, while doing sit-ups and push-ups and calf raises, I imagined that I was already at home, curled up under an afghan knitted by my great-grandmother.

Workout motivation tip: You know how you're supposed to envision how you want your workout to go? I do this when I have a race: I imagine what the race will be like, including such realistic details as "that panicked feeling you get when you realize you need to spit but that there are too many people around to do it safely."

A little mental preparation can help in a big way, but then I've found that when you're actually in the midst of your workout/run, it's best to imagine what you'll be doing later. Pep talks can only get you so far; it's far better to imagine the coffee you'll drink at brunch after the race {and the bacon! Never forget to think about the bacon!}.

Or in the case of my Friday night workout, it was better to think about laying down and not having to think or do much of anything for the rest of the night. Distract yourself: That's my workout motivation tip, one I hope you'll use and report back to me about how wonderfully it worked.

So I was on the couch, texting a good friend who was being a good sport about my typical Friday-evening-randomness, when the pug on a Ferris wheel image came to me and I sent her that message above.

You're probably either in awe of my imagination or concerned for my thought process {I'm assuming the former, by the way}, so I will offer this by way of explanation for my pug image: The carnival is in town.

Doesn't that explain everything? How could I walk past a Ferris wheel every day on my way to the train and not think of how a pug would react to spinning high above her town in what is essentially a swinging bucket?

{You're thinking about it now, too, aren't you?}

Here's how the conversation went:
Me: I am about to walk Miss Daisy, but then I really need to eat. You know those times when nothing sounds good? This in one of those times.

Allow me to jump in here and say—I had so much to eat at home. There was roast chicken and vegetables, eggplant gratin, a salad with an orange balsamic vinaigrette, and pear clafoutis. I could've made French toast or an omelet or a grilled cheese sandwich. Heck, I could've eaten cereal.

But every time I thought of something to eat, my inner toddler screamed, "NO!" That girl is so demanding and picky sometimes.

Me: BUT WAIT: I just had an excellent dinner thought. The carnival is in town. CORNDOG.

Patient Friend Who Listened to My Dinner Decisions and Hopefully Didn't Roll Her Eyes: Corndog all the way. If I were with you, I'd get a funnel cake. And cotton candy.

That response proves why we're friends and why I'm 99% sure she wasn't rolling her eyes at my dinner quandary: because she gets just as excited by food as I do.

Me: Then Daisy and I shall ride the Ferris wheel.

Patient Friend: Hahahahaha....

Me: But seriously, imagine this: A pug on a Ferris wheel is an awesome mental picture.

And to the carnival we went, my pug and I. The night was cool—shockingly cool for mid-May, and I don't just mean that I had to wear a light spring jacket. I mean that it had snowed earlier in the day, an occurrence that flummoxed us all, even though we have just survived the coldest, snowiest winter I can remember. Snow in mid-May? What are we, Minnesotan?

I formed a plan as I walked over: if there were a lot of people at the carnival, Daisy and I would keep walking and I would force myself to suck it up and eat some roast chicken at home, even though that is no corndog. Crowds tend to overwhelm her, and I didn't know how safe it would be for a pug in a carnival. She might be taken in by one of the carnies, unaware that the games were fixed and she'd most likely not win a new stuffed animal.

But the cool night kept most people away from the carnival because who wants a lemon shake-up when the temperature is much closer to freezing than you'd like to admit? Giving Daisy a few notes on dealing with carnies, I walked her up to the corndog stand.

As I paid, I felt her tug on the leash, and I looked down to see an absolutely panicked pug staring up at the Ferris wheel.

It must've been the bright lights—don't they draw us all in? But given how Daisy was rooted to the ground, frozen as all those bright lights twinkled towards her from the slowly-rotating Ferris wheel, I can only assume that it looked like some sort of giant fireball coming straight at her.

While I know she couldn't possibly have understood that 1) I had suggested taking her on a Ferris wheel, 2) I had most definitely been joking when I said that, and 3) pugs aren't allowed on Ferris wheels to begin with, I still felt bad for even thinking about it. You would've, too, if you'd seen her cower from the Ferris wheel. In fact, if you had been there, you probably would've been yelling at me at this point and taking away my corndog.

I bent down to reassure Miss Daisy, and my movement broke her spell. She looked away from the fireball, shook her head, and suddenly realized that all around her was a magic land of dropped food. French fries. Corndog sticks that still had some breading on them. And her favorite: chewed gum.

She did her spin of excitement and took to licking everything she could find that looked like food, and even some things that were clearly just rocks.

Oh, the carnival! It holds such possibility, doesn't it? One minute, you can be rigid with terror and the next moment, you can be eating bad-for-you food. This is what we all know about the carnival, and this is what Miss Daisy experienced for the first time on Friday night.


PS I was going to insert a picture of a pug on a Ferris wheel, but the Internet holds no such picture that I can find. I believe this is an untapped adorable picture market.

I did, however, discover through auto-fill {you know, when Google tries to guess ahead to what you're searching for, based on what other people have searched for} that the following searches are popular {as they should be}:
  • "pugs riding in cars"
  • "pugs riding unicorns"
  • "pug riding a Roomba"
  • "pugs in The Hobbit"
  • "pugs in fancy dress"

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